Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBBB
USA, 1950. Columbia Pictures Corporation. Screenplay by Albert Mannheimer, based on the play by Garson Kanin. Cinematography by Joseph Walker. Produced by S. Sylvan Simon. Music by Friedrich Hollaender. Production Design by Harry Horner. Costume Design by Jean Louis. Film Editing by Charles Nelson.
Judy Holliday is absolutely fantastic in this witty, sparkling adaptation of the Garson Kanin play, in which she also starred. She plays a former Vegas showgirl who is the live-in girlfriend of a nouveau riche millionaire tycoon (Broderick Crawford), accompanying him on his trip to Washington, D.C. on important business.
Crawford is embarrassed by her every time she opens her mouth, so he hires brainy reporter William Holden to smarten her up a bit and show her the ropes of educated living. What he doesn’t count on is the self-confidence that comes with intelligence (or is it intelligence that comes with self-confidence?) and what it means for his relationship with her as well as his business endeavours.
The newer version with Melanie Griffith and Don Johnson does a better job of allowing the main character to enjoy using what she learns more, but the original still teems with excellent dialogue and brilliant acting.
Academy Award: Best Actress (Judy Holliday)
Nominations: Best Picture; Best Screenplay; Best Director (George Cukor); Best Costume Design-BW
Golden Globe Award: Best Actress-Musical/Comedy (Judy Holliday)
Nominations: Best Picture; Best Actress-Drama (Judy Holliday); Best Director (George Cukor)
Venice Film Festival: In Competition